Celebrity Axe Throwing: Latest Sporting Fad to Arrive. Where did it come from and how does one go about playing?
If there is going to be a subset of people who are all over the next big trend, it’s going to be celebrities. Not only are they tuned into the zeitgeist via social media, their agents, their fans and followers, but it’s also part of their job to try and stay current. Fail to be current and you get labeled “washed up”, which nobody wants.
That’s all to say, if you want a reliable predictor of “the next big thing” look at what the celebrities are doing. And in this case, what the celebrities are doing is a wild, weird and entirely intoxicating new sport: axe throwing.
Yes, it is exactly what it sounds like. No, you don’t throw an axe at just anything (i.e. you can’t waltz outside and start chucking hatchets at cars, lest you want to be very arrested). It’s a structured sport where you throw axes at targets, and its simplicity is part of the appeal.
Where did this sharp new sport come from, how do you play it, and what celebrities have been spotted throwing axes? Let’s dive deeper into this new fad sport and answer some of the burning questions.
The sport is popular with movie stars looking to flex their skills (and their muscles), as well as athletes curious to try the new sport. Action movie stars like Vin Diesel, Gerard Butler and Jason Momoa (the Aquaman himself) have all gone to check out BATL – the Backyard Axe Throwing League, the world’s “OG” axe throwing league. The cast of Vikings, in a hilarious bit of self-aware partying, went axe throwing as well – but they were not, unfortunately, in costume for it!
Sports stars, a natural fit for the focus-based sport of axe throwing, have also visited in droves. The Chicago Bears tried their hand at axe throwing recently, as did the Ottawa Senators, William Nylander, Shaquille O’ Neal and countless other celebrity athletes. Comedians also seem to be taking to the sport, probably because there’s some inherent comedy in wielding an old-timey weapon: Silicon Valley’s TJ Miller and Broad City’s Hannibal Burress were both recently spotted getting their axe throwing on.
So what’s the deal with axe throwing? Where did it come from and how does one go about playing?
Where Did It Come From?
Unlike other fads, axe throwing wasn’t the brainchild of a multi-millionaire entrepreneur, nor was it cooked up by axe companies to sell more product. The sport began humbly and arose organically. It started in Canada a little over a decade ago, when some friends were trying to stave off boredom at a remote cottage. They started throwing an axe a stump to pass the time, and realized that, actually, this was a lot of fun!
From there, it moved to the guys’ backyard, where friends (and the occasional stranger) would stop by to try throwing an axe at a big wooden target they made. They developed a point system and kept a scoreboard going. Before long, word got around about the new sport and it quickly outgrew the confines of the backyard. The sport has been expanding ever since, with numerous facilities popping up over North America and beyond.
How It Works
There really isn’t that much to it – that’s the beauty of the sport. Standing opposite a wooden board painted with a target, you bring your axe up over your head (sort of like winding up for a free throw in soccer) and then fluidly throw the axe forward, releasing it around eye-level. If you hit the blue outer ring of the target, you get one point; the red inner ring nets you three points; and the black bullseye gets you five points.
You face off with your competitors in a round robin tournament, all while offering up the requisite smack talk or encouragement (depending on how well they’re doing). It’s easy to pick up and exciting to play, which explains its popularity, not just with celebrities but with bachelor(ette) parties, birthdays, work functions and first dates.
Celebrities are always looking for the next new thing, and, for now, that new thing is axe throwing. It’s difficult not to root for the fledgling sport. Unlike other fads (ahem, Goop) it doesn’t have a product to push or an agenda to sell – it is just a fun, low-key way of getting a little exercise and looking totally badass. If you want to see what it’s like on the cutting edge (pardon the pun) do as the celebs do, and pick up an axe.